Distillery: Ben Nevis
Age Statement: 16 years old
Extra Info: Bottled by Whiskybroker, cask #1611, bottle # 7 of 301
Not long ago I tasted my first independent Ben Nevis (see notes here) and it was a very pleasant surprise. Today I review another one, this time bottled by Whiskybroker. Big difference with the aforementioned bottling is that this one is not sherried. It will be interesting to see how that will turn out. Opinions about Ben Nevis differ quite a bit; there are loyal supporters but also people who just can’t seem to like whisky coming from this distillery. If this one turns out to be as good as the Alambic Classique bottling, I think I will soon belong to the first group.
Nose: Grainy at first, some nice cereal notes here. After that some light tropical fruit. Definite pineapple, then some papaya and maybe even some melon. A bit creamy or buttery, rich in vanilla sweetness and a bit of honey. Dried, candied fruits and powdered sugar. Some slightly sour green apple and grass and maybe even the faintest of waxy notes.
Taste: Big on malt and cereal notes. The fruit not as clear now, apart from the apple and some apricot. Spicier now too, and a bitter note of liquorice and maybe nutmeg. A very odd metallic note now, like putting your tongue to a battery (what?! Yes. By lack of a better description). Slightly dusty and a hint of banana in the background.
Finish: Starts off with the bitter spice and that weird metallic note. When the bitterness finally subsides, vanilla sweetness and some fruit appear. However, not enough of the finish is left to enjoy those properly.
Overall: Without a doubt the nose is the best part. A few drops of water really opens it up. However, the enjoyable properties of the nose don’t really seem to come back in the taste or finish. That peculiar metallic note in the taste is rather off-putting and I can’t really seem to shake it off with the other flavours. A pretty good dram though, just not a great one.
3,5 stars (81-85 range)